Failing Writer #33.

Every writer tells of the reading when three people show up (two of them for the free wine), and I may have just had that experience.

I did a book signing at Borders this weekend – which is funny since no one knows who I am. I’m supposed to sign what people don’t know about?

I’m not famous.  My book just came out the week before.  I haven’t had a single review.  And no one knows my face.

But I’m supposed to sign.

They set out a nice table for me by the door, my books displayed in front of me, and I was ready to greet people as they came in.

One problem:  No one was coming in to see me or have me sign.  They didn’t want my book.

They were at Borders to read magazines, buy coffee, browse self-help books, abandon children, eat cookies, and finger knickknacks while waiting in long lines.

So I smiled and greeted and gestured – subtly – to the books in front of me.

My favorite quotes from passers by:

In a gruff voice:  “What are you trying to sell me?”

From an old lady:  “Memoir, huh?  Yeah, well I write those too.”

And from thirty-two different people all day long:  “Oh no, no, no….” as they shake their fingers and walk by while trying not to make eye contact.

We sold twelve books in two and a half hours, nine of those because my nephew, my daughter, and my two sisters-in-law walked around and put the books in people’s hands.  “Hand-selling,” literally.

So here’s the equation I learned – because math is F-U-N:

Readings > Hand-Selling > Borders Book Signing

As the book seller at the store told me halfway through, “Dante wrote about book signings in his seven levels of hell.”


One thought on “Failing Writer #33.

  1. You know, I gotta give the old lady style points for going straight to the plural. Not only does she write memoirs, she writes lots of “those.” My only quibble would be her use of the word memoir–after you’ve self-published more than one memoir, I believe the term authorities use is “manifesto.”

    Looking forward to giving The End of Boys a read!


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